A Florida mom left her 6-year-old sleeping in the back seat for a moment as she carried her sleeping daughter into her apartment. When she returned, the car — with her son inside it — was gone.
It’s something many parents have done before. When it’s long after bedtime and you’re driving alone with kids, it makes sense to carry them in one at a time so they don’t wake up. When Clearwater mom Elizabeth Rivera found the car missing, she contacted authorities who quickly launched a massive overnight search for 6-year-old Theron Fields.
Any parent can imagine the panic and horror Rivera must have dealt with not knowing if her son was safe or if his kidnapping had been intentional. Police reached out to local news outlets, helping spread word of the stolen vehicle with a child inside.
Fortunately, the police located Rivera’s rented Ford Mustang just two miles from her apartment. They approached the car along with Rivera, and discovered Theron in the back seat — sound asleep. Even surrounded by several police officers with flashlights, the boy struggled to wake up. He had no idea the car had been stolen and never saw the thief.
Police believe the suspect may have realized he or she had a sleeping child in the car and quickly abandoned it. It’s the best possible ending to every parent’s worst nightmare.